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The Perseo (Perseus) is an Italian Leica copy made by Boniforti and Ballerio in Milan from about 1947. It makes images 24x34 mm on standard 35 mm film.[1]

The Perseo exists as a viewfinder camera, similar to the Leica I, and in a version with a coupled rangefinder. Dario Mondonico states that the viewfinder version is the rarest.[1] It has interchangeable lenses with a 39 mm mount, and a focal plane shutter with speeds 1/20 - 1/1000 second, plus 'B'. The shutter release button is on the front of the top housing. The film is advanced with a winding knob, and there is a frame counter in the top plate. It has a hinged back, rather than a removable base like the early Leicas.

The camera was restyled in about 1949, and the viewfinder-only version discontinued. Dario Mondonico refers to the new model as the Perseo II, though the top plate is still just engraved 'Perseo'. This has an accessory shoe on the top plate. It was available with a Perseo 5 cm f/3.5 lens, or a Rodenstock 5 cm f/2.[1]

In about 1955, a special colour-separation version of the Perseo was made, in which three images 7x10 mm, exposed through red, blue and green filters, were made within each frame (of 24x24 mm in this model). This camera was the Photochrome; it was made at least as a prototype, but was not produced in significant numbers.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Boniforti e Ballerio at Dario Mondonico's site: text in Italian, with pictures of the Perseo I and II, a contemporary advertisement for the later Perseo, and other cameras by the company.